Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Absolute faith in the news

I've mentioned elsewhere that the NAACP and the White House must have absolute faith in the accuracy of reports from Fox News. And Breitbart, while we're at it.

Now Jay Tea at Wizbang points out the same thing: Rushing To Judgment

Remember the timeline. Two elements show just how quickly they reacted:

--Breitbart posts the video at 11:18 a.m. last Monday.

--Sherrod's own account of her dismissal.

Sherrod says that she was called while driving home from work. Her boss told her that the White House had called three times to get her fired, because she was "going to be on Glenn Beck's show tonight."
In that 4-hour window, what elements factored into their decision to get rid of Sherrod? Besides the Breitbart video, obviously.

Certainly not Breitbart's reputation. After all, Breitbart is a notoriously dishonest, hyperpartisan smear artist and fraud. The guy has no credibility whatsoever. Just ask any leftist.
But for all their words about how awful Breitbart is, the reactions of the Obama administration and the NAACP put thei lie to them. They absolutely took him at his word. Neither of them tried to review the full video before jumping on Sherrod with both feet. Neither tried to contact Sherrod for her side of events. Neither sought anyone who might have attended the event for their account.

As I said, this made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. There had to be another element at play here, besides Breitbart's own reputation.

And then I made the connection: the old saying "you can't con an honest man."

Nearly all confidence schemes are, at their core, contingent on the greed and dishonesty of the mark. The mark has to know the deal sounds too good to be true, has to believe that they are getting something for nothing, that they are benefiting from some kind of fraud. In the end, they lose out because they let their cupidity overpower their integrity and common sense. They were predisposed to dishonesty.

Likewise, I find it extremely plausible that both the Obama administration and the NAACP jumped so hard on Sherrod because they knew, beforehand, that what she said in that video -- confessing to discriminating against whites and carrying a racial grudge -- was entirely within her character. They reacted so quickly and so firmly not because they were unaware of her beliefs, but because they were surprised it came out so clearly.

In other words, they weren't "snookered" by Breitbart and Fox News – they didn't need convincing because they knew the truth to begin with.

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